What You Did in 2022 | Opportunity For All Floridians

What You Did In 2022:

The Opportunity For All Floridians year in review

There are more than

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members of Opportunity For All Floridians.

We live in big cities and small towns, in farming communities, retirement homes, and fishing villages. 

We live in all

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counties of Florida.

We communicated over

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times

 with our state lawmakers, county officials, utility commissioners and the governor this year. 

If you printed our emails out and laid them end to end, they would span the 

Seven-Mile Bridge

in the Florida Keys end-to-end.

And these emails, petitions, and phone calls made a difference. 

Read more about the impact you had in 2022.

Democracy

Thanks to you, Opportunity For All Floridians stood up for citizen ballot initiatives when the Florida Legislature threatened to limit citizen participation in our democracy.

The Bill

HJR 1127: Citizen Initiatives

Increasing Florida’s minimum wage, Restoring voting rights to returning citizens, Banning off-shore drilling, Banning greyhound dog racing, Approving medical marijuana.

Floridians have passed all of these measures through statewide ballot initiatives in the last 10 years. The process isn’t easy. It requires gathering signatures, judicial review and approval, and finally gaining a supermajority of 60% of voters to pass, so all successful measures must gain some bipartisan support. Given the many hurdles in the process, it’s obvious a successful ballot measure reflects the will of the vast majority of Florida voters in an inclusive process.

In 2022, lawmakers in Tallahassee proposed a measure to limit what kinds of initiatives citizens can propose to push positive policies for our state. If HJR 1127 (or SJR 1412 in the Senate) had been successful, it would have meant shady special interests and dark money could trample the wishes of the electorate with no recourse.

Actions You Took:

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emails sent to lawmakers

The Results:

The bill passed both committees on the House side but was not heard in a committee on the Senate side. The Senate President and Speaker of the House have a lot of power to push bills through or kill them. In this case, The Senate President Wilton Simpson did not prioritize this bill.

Read more

Standing Up to the Monopoly Utilities

You stopped a wasteful giveaway to big electric companies when the Florida legislature tried to pass a law which threatened our solar freedom and would have raised everyone’s power bills. With the help of your actions, we pressured the governor to veto the bill.

The Bill

HB 741: Net Metering

Florida is inching closer to changing the state’s solar industry—and individual ownership of solar panels—for the worse.

A bill, HB 741, heavily backed by utility companies like Florida Power & Light, just passed through both the Florida House and the Senate. Its last stop before becoming law: Governor DeSantis’s desk. He has the chance to veto this law, stop increased energy bills, and encourage solar freedom and energy independence in Florida.

The legislation changes “net metering” rules, which allow customers with rooftop solar panels to send excess electricity back to the grid in exchange for a credit on their electric bill. The legislation lowers the amount of credit solar customers receive and hits them with additional fees. On top of that, it imposes new minimum fees on all customers, hurting low-income customers the most.

This bill would destroy the rooftop solar industry just as it’s getting off the ground. It amounts to a new tax on sunshine, it would endanger around 40,000 jobs and would hurt low-income Floridians with increased fees.

Actions You Took:

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emails & calls to lawmakers and the governor

The Results:

The bill passed the House and Senate on mostly party lines, there were three Senate Democrats and 4 House Reps who voted yes on the bill. The bill was‌ vetoed by Governor DeSantis.

Read more

Freedom to Pass Local Ordinances / Animal Cruelty

You stopped a dangerous preemption law that would have taken power away from local governments, and given more power to the puppy mill industry. With the help of your actions, we pressured the governor to veto the bill.

The Bill

SB 620: “Puppy Mill Loophole Law”

The Florida Legislature passed a cruel bill, SB 620, that would give businesses that support the puppy mill industry, like Petland,  much more power to operate anywhere in Florida.

The bill is written in a way that would cripple local governments’ ability to pass local ordinances that keep businesses like Petland from operating. More than 400 cities, towns, and counties across 31 states have joined the movement to stop the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline.

Actions You Took:

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calls, emails, petitions signed to lawmakers and the governor

The Results:

This was a priority for Senate President Wilson in his last term. The vote was a party line with Sen. Brandes being the only defector on the Senate side. After it passed the Senate and the House, it was vetoed by Gov. DeSantis.

Read more

Standing Up Against Electric Price Gouging

You are continuing to take action. Right now, thousands of Floridians have emailed the Florida Public Service Commission to tell them to stop the price gouging from the big electric companies.

The Rule

Docket No. 20220001-EI: “Fuel cost recovery”

Florida Power and LightDuke Energy Florida, the Florida Public Utility Company and Tampa Electric Co., the state’s largest monopoly electric utilities, filed petitions on September 2 with at the Florida Public Service Commission to raise electric rates in 2023. If the commission approves the utilities’ petitions, this would result in higher monthly bills for most Floridians in 2023.

Actions You Took:

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emails to the Public Service Commission and the governor

The Results:

While the Public Service Commission has continuously issued rulings in favor of the monopoly utility companies in Florida, they have taken note of the immense public outrage over electric rate hikes.

Read more

Holding the Line on the Everglades

After the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners voted to override Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s veto of a misguided ordinance trashing the county’s urban development boundary, which protects the Everglades and spurs smart economic growth in the urban core, our Miami-Dade members took action to hold their elected officials accountable. 

The Ordinance

No. 22-148: Urban Development Boundary

The Miami-Dade County Commission passed ordinance No. 22-148 on November, clearing the way for the county to sell more than 300 acres of sensitive land and move the Urban Development Boundary.

Our Miami-Dade members sent emails to Mayor Daniella Levine Cava for vetoing this misguided move. Read more here.

Actions You Took:

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emails sent to Miami Dade Commissioners and Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava

The Results:

The County Commissioner voted to expand the urban development boundary, the Mayor vetoed the vote, the Commissioners used a 2/3rds rule to ignore the Mayor’s veto and allow developers to move forward with developing lands beyond the urban development boundary. Residents of South Dade have now filed a legal challenge to stop the sale from going through.

Read more

Anti-Voter Freedom Act

Despite widespread agreement from election officials that Florida’s elections are fair and secure, Florida lawmakers introduced a bill this year which will make it harder and more complicated for seniors to vote by mail. Vote by mail is a tradition that seniors, veterans and active duty military have used for decades.

The Bill

SB 524: The Anti-Voter Freedom Act

Florida’s elections are a model for the nation: Republican, Democrat and Independent voters alike have used Florida’s secure vote-by-mail system for decades. After the 2020 election, Governor Ron DeSantis touted Florida’s election process and legislators called our state the “gold” standard nationwide.

But in March 2022, the Florida Legislature passed the “Anti-Voter Freedom Act” — SB 524 — which created unnecessary and confusing barriers making it harder and more complicated for seniors to vote by mail. Vote by mail is a tradition that seniors, veterans and active duty military have used for decades.
Floridians deserve free and fair elections. Our members wrote Gov. Ron DeSantis to urge him to veto SB 524 and keep Floridians’ freedom to vote intact.

Actions You Took:

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Emails to lawmakers and Gov. DeSantis

The Results:

This bill passed on party lines and was signed by the Governor. It was challenged by several organizations in court. In May 2022, the appeals court ruled in favor of the state and it was upheld.

We hope you will continue to stay active with our work in 2023.

We wish you and your family a joyful holiday season and a Happy and Healthy New Year. 

Thank You!

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